Discussions on the post-2015 development agenda are warming up. In September 2014, the UN General Assembly is due to consider new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). A milestone was already reached this February when the Open Working Group, the body preparing the SDGs, produced a document outlining potential focus areas. Unlike the MDGs, one of these is energy.
The introduction of energy is, of course, a major step. Ensuring universal access to modern energy services; cleaner including low- or zero-emissions energy technologies and increasing the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix were some of the areas for energy focus outlined in the paper.
Some NGOs and other stakeholders have suggested other ways to approach SDGs, such as focusing on services and industries rather than on individual areas in the document like energy, water and climate. The goal is to be holistic and avoid considering each SDG area separately. For instance, a focus on education could require the integration of several interlinked goals which would mean together introducing energy, water and other services to schools.
Whatever the final outcome, it can only be positive and is likely to be a major contributing factor to improved energy access in the ECOWAS region.